Head Coach: Bill O’Brien
Assistant Head Coach / Wide Receivers Coach: Stan Hixon
Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs Coach: John Butler
Quarterbacks Coach: Charlie Fisher
Defensive Line Coach: Larry Johnson
Running Backs Coach: Charles London
Offensive Line Coach: Mac McWhorter
Safeties Coach: Anthony Midget
Tight Ends Coach: John Strollo
Linebackers Coach: Ron Vanderlinden
Director of Strength and Conditioning: Craig Fitzgerald – (this guy is so awesome)
Bill O’Brien exploded onto the scene in 2012 and the Penn State fan base immediately fell in love with him. He brings an offensive mind set to a team that was dull and difficult to watch for years. He is the de facto offensive coordinator and his style is clearly involved in every play. Last year he utilized talent and made stars out of players that no one ever saw coming. Expectations are tempered going into this year as the public realizes the challenge that he faces, but the future is bright under his leadership.
Two hold overs from Joe Paterno’s staff, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden, still hold the same positions this year. These two men are among the best position coaches in the country. They generate early NFL draft picks year in and year out, and that trend is fully expected to continue this year with Glenn Carson, Da’Quan Jones, and Deion Barnes. Bill O’Brien kept these guys in State College because he recognized their outstanding ability.
John Butler steps into the defensive coordinator position in 2013 after Ted Roof left to take the same position at his alma mater Georgia Tech. Butler was previously the defensive backs coach, so in a corresponding move O’Brien brought Anthony Midget in to handle coaching the safeties. It is widely believed, and confirmed by Butler, that the defensive scheme will remain similar to what was run in 2012. There have even been some hints that the “multiple aggressive” system will be ramped up in 2013 because of its success and a much improved and deeper secondary.
If Penn State has another successful year as it did last year the question of staff retention will come back into play, and it will be centered around O’Brien. He has made it abundantly clear that an NFL head coaching position is his dream job and he flirted briefly with the idea after the 2012 season. It will get increasingly difficult for him to the shun NFL if he has continued success because the offers will get increasingly attractive. Beyond O’Brien the core of the staff seems to be relatively stable, but that all hinges on the head coach.